The Trap of Motivation, Part A #67 Rules For Leaders

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Coaching Tips Series | 0 comments

I’ve been struggling to start the writing process for my weekly blog/newsletter.

I set aside the time each week for it when I won’t get interrupted.
I have cute little reminders that pop up on writing day.
I have a schedule in Asana that’s simple to follow.

I’ve put all the hacks into place, yet I’m struggling to start.

And as I’m coaching a client, and they are saying the same thing
“I’ve put all the tools and reminders into place, but I’m just not doing it”
the penny dropped.

My client wanted to reconnect to their motivation and drive. There are things they want to do, and they want to rekindle their passion for this awesome job they actually love. But nada.

Rekindling is not happening.

So I do my coaching thing (highly technical of course) and everything flipped.

Their energy is up.
They feel their motivation again.
They’ve got clarity on what they need to do, and have broken it down into organised steps.
Most importantly: they’ve started taking action.

The dropped penny?
They had fallen into the Motivation Trap, Part A: looking in all the wrong places.

What are the wrong places?
Looking for the feeling to just be there.
Analysing yourself about why you’re failing.

Let me explain what with my own example: my writing.

In my head, it’s slipped into the “to do” category. An obligation. A demand on my time and energy.
Which just takes me into a battle with myself because (this is where my inherent Dutchness kicks in): ik moet niets.
(ah the dutch is so concise and to the point but it basically means “I don’t have to do anything” with the attitude of nuh-uh I’m not gonna).

I feel I MUST but I resist the feeling of having no choice.

Knowing myself as well as I do, I know its incredibly unlikely that I will find motivation in any “I MUST” scenario.

There are too many values of freedom, choice, actions need to be meaningful, needing purpose, that just fight against this.

Yet when I focused on my value of meaningful action, my perspective shifted.
I thought about what makes my writing a meaningful action.
Here’s a bit of glimpse into me.

Writing is a meaningful action because of:

  • Sharing experiences, knowledge etc to help others grow
  • Authentic expression: writing is a way for me to fully be myself and share all of that wonderful weirdness with you. So maybe you’ll share more of your wonderful weirdness with the world (and me).
  • Consistency. When I write regularly, then I become the writer that I know myself to be, deep inside.
  • Being accountable to myself and doing what I set out to do (publish weekly) so that my mood, or current phase of depression doesn’t dictate my work. Cos I can go for a looong time not feeling like doing it.

When we focus on our values, action becomes inevitable.

It feels good to act according to our values. Excitement builds. The joy and anticipation return. We start to look forward to finding the solution or doing that thing.

Use our drive to be a runner (and finally start exercises like we wanted to)

Use our perseverance to switch off in our coffee break and actually take the break (instead of going back to the hamster wheel of checking. refresh. refresh. refresh)

Use my value for authentic expression and share my own struggles with procrastination, AND how I get out of it because #NobodysPerfect

We can’t force motivation.
But when we take a step back from trying so damn hard, and remind ourselves of what matters, then the motivation will return.

And of course, we can always use Motivation Trap, Part B to help. (coming next week)

This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership. Want to talk it through with me? Call me and let’s make a Game Plan together.

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